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Natural Ways To Manage Hypertension

Jan 4th, 2012

hypertensionHypertension or high blood pressure results from a higher than normal pressure in the arteries. There are several factors that may cause this condition, including smoking, being overweight, high salt in the diet, excessive alcohol intake, and many others. Having a blood pressure reading above 140/90 is considered high. This condition can add stress to the heart and makes it more difficult to pump blood. Aside from medications, there are other ways to help reduce hypertension as discussed below:

Exercise
Regular exercise can help you deal with hypertension. Doctors advice to start off slow, especially if you have not exercised on a regular basis. Simple cardio exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, or biking can help you control your hypertension. Moving your body will make your heart more efficient and help you burn more calories and increase your muscle mass. A simple step like parking your car farther away than usual can help you get added exercise.

Lose Excess Weight
Losing weight can help control hypertension. Choose low-fat nutritional foods that are good for the heart instead of a high fat diet. Fruits and vegetables should be increased in your diet and sodium intake should be minimized. If you want extra flavor on your food, you can try adding ground pepper or salt free spices. Instead of snacking on junk foods, try an apple, or vegetable sticks for a healthier alternative. Increase dietary fiber by eating oat products or even fiber supplements each day. A high fiber diet helps reduce cholesterol and may reduce hypertension.

Manage Stress
Stress is a fact of life no matter who you are. Constantly living with mismanaged stress levels can elevate blood pressure, eventually causing other health issues. There are several stress relieving activities you can perform like yoga or tai chi, even simple breathing exercises can do wonders. Reading, listening to music, or sitting at your local park instead of watching television can help you deal with the daily stresses. Performing a favorite activity or hobby can help send your mind off some place else, recharging your focus on the tasks at hand at a later time. A ten-minute meditation can help reduce body and mind stress levels.

Limit Alcohol and Tobacco Use
Excessive alcohol and tobacco use have been proven to increase the incidence of hypertension. Consuming more than two units of alcohol each day will run you the risk of developing hypertension; and binge drinkers have a much greater risk. Additionally, alcohol can react with antihypertensive medications rendering the latter less effective. Tobacco use raises blood pressure and may also react with certain antihypertensive medications.

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